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Mashed Potatoes

Serves 8 to 10



5 pounds Yukon Gold or Russet potatoes, well-scrubbed
kosher salt
8 ounces unsalted butter
2 cups half-and-half
black pepper
Large pot
potato masher

Two smaller pans for heating butter and half-and-half
Spatula or wooden spoon


Scrub and wash potatoes thoroughly.
Peel potatoes if desired.
Place the potatoes in a large pot.
Add cold water to cover by about 1 inch.
Stir in 2 tablespoons of the salt.
Cover and bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat.
Uncover and reduce the heat as needed to maintain a gentle simmer.
Cook until knife tender, testing for doneness at 30 minutes. A sharp knife should easily go through the potato.
Larger potatoes may take longer, up to 45 or 50 minutes total.

About 20 minutes into the potato cooking time, melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan.
Heat the half-and half and remaining 1 tablespoon salt over low heat in another small saucepan.
Keep both warm.

When the potatoes are ready, drain them in a colander.
Place potatoes back into the pot they were cooked in. This will help the potatoes stay warm from the pot's residual heat.
Use masher to smash potatoes.
Use mixer to mix potatoes thoroughly until most lumps are gone.


Turn off the heat on the butter and half-and-half.
Add the hot butter to the potatoes, gently stirring with a wooden spoon or spatula to incorporate.
When all the butter is absorbed, add the hot half-and-half. It will seem soupy at first, but the potatoes will gradually absorb the liquid and turn into a creamy mixture.

Taste and season with more salt as needed.
This is also a good time to add pepper if using.


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